Soup from Don's Watercress

Watercress soup with focaccia


Don doesn't like watercress. Or so he thought. Nor, did he realize it is an edible on his Oyama farm's water access road. From springs bursting out from Okanagan native brush, down the hillside, I found an abundance of verdant green sprouts of watercress, one of my favourite wild foods.


Watercress Foraging


Wilco and Watercress Foraging

Wilco loves foraging


That day I discovered it, while we were out chopping wood, (ok, I took an honorary swing or two but left the heavy lifting to Matt and Don, who I am pretty sure, had a primal urge for the activity) I set off on a little property field trip to gather up all the watercress I could fit in my market bag. That and some rosehips (also abundant) were my bounty, as Matt and Don filled apple bin after apple bin with good dry wood, from trees fallen recently by Don.


Matt and Don Chop Wood with Wilco


I pinched off a sprig of watercress and gave it to Don. The face he made over the delicate but bitter crisp green wasn't favourable, and we knew he had written it off. Or so we thought... Until that night I made this soup recipe that I am sharing with you.

On the way back to make dinner, we grabbed some homegrown potatoes and onions out of the wild garden plot.


Matt harvests potatoes from Don's wild garden plot


A celebration night for getting through those massive wood piles, we invited Don for dinner at Matt's cabin, where this soup was the main... We didn't tell him the highlight ingredient, until he confirmed the deliciousness of the soup. He asked for the recipe... So I guess there's a chance my watercress source is now a shared one :) 


Harvested watercress




  • 8 potatoes
  • 4 onions
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  •  1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 L water
  • 2 cups dry white wine (chardonnay, riesling, pinot gris)
  • 3 bunches of watercress ( a foraged plastic shopping bag, or half a market tote full)
  • 2 lemons
  • Rind of one lemon
  • Parm rinds, 3 or 4 if possible
  • 2 cups parmesan ground
  • grass fed yogourt
  • salt to taste

Peel and roughly chop the potatoes, onions and garlic. Boil the potatoes separately, until a fork runs through them rather easily. Keep the water from the boiling. ---In the meantime, in a large soup pot on medium to high heat, add half the olive oil to the bottom of the pot and sautee the onion and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the wine, and let cook for a few minutes to boil off the alcohol. Add the potato water now, along with the parmesan rinds. Let everything cook together for around 20 minutes at medium heat. Add the juice of two lemons, but first, using a micro planer grater, grate in the complete rind of one lemon.  Using a hand blender, chop up the soup until the patatoes are 65% broken up, some in nice little bite size pieces still. Salt to taste. Add the remaining olive oil. Chop and add the watercress and simmer for a further 3 to 4 minutes.   Serve with a swirl of crème fraîche, or a dollop of grass fed only yogourt (or a good balkan style yogourt, that is full fat) and a sprig of Watercress flower, to be reminded of it's freshness and beauty. Serve with Matthew's Focaccia (recipe updating!), or a delicious savoury, and fatty sausage like bratwurst, or rabbit, or an italian fennel pork sausage. Enjoy xo


watercress soup with Parmigiano Rinds